ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday reserved its order on the maintainability of a petition seeking disqualification of former prime minister Imran Khan for not disclosing in his nomination papers that he had a daughter who was born as a result of his “relations with Ana-Luisa (Sita) White, a wealthy lady”.
Sita White was the daughter of the late Lord Gordon White, head of the American arm of Hanson PLC, a giant industrial conglomerate.
The petition has been filed by Mohammad Sajid. Chief Justice Aamer Farooq observed there were some conflicting judgements in the past about the appropriate forum for weighing qualification of a lawmaker.
One opinion is that ECP is the sole authority to disqualify a lawmaker while the other is that only a high court can do so. He recalled that the IHC had referred the matter related to disqualification of former PTI senator Faisal Vawda to the ECP.
The counsel for the petitioner recounted judgements given by the Supreme Court and high courts on petitions seeking disqualification of lawmakers for concealing information.
The IHC chief justice inquired from the counsel what would be the course of action if the petition is admitted for regular hearing. The counsel insisted that Imran Khan’s case was similar to those already decided by the apex court.
Chief Justice Aamer Farooq reserved the order on maintainability of the petition.
According to the petitioner, the PTI chief did not marry Sita White because her “racist father categorically told the respondent (Imran) that if he married Sita, they would not get a penny of his money. “Only thereafter, he found, met and in a very short time married Jemima Goldsmith, another rich lady.”
The petition, titled “Imran versus Imran — the untold story”, also mentioned the circumstances in which the custody of Tyrian (Sita White’s daughter) was handed over to Jemima.
It stated that Ana-Lusia White, in her will dated Feb 27, 2004, had nominated Jemima Khan as guardian of her minor daughter Tyrian Jade Brittanta Khan-White. Sita White died that year on May 13. The petition went on to state: “Jemima Goldsmith had been the spouse of Imran Khan (1995-2004). The concealed facts stood confirmed by a judgement of paternity rendered by a superior court of the state of California for the county of Los Angeles in favour of the said Sita White where it was held that the respondent was the father of Tyrian Jade.”
Mr Khan initially joined the proceedings through his attorney, but defaulted after he was asked to undergo blood test, it added.
However, Mr Khan later submitted a declaration to a court of guardianship when Carolina White, a sister of Sita White, asked the court that she be appointed Tyrian’s guardian.
Imran Khan promised that if the court called him to testify, he would do so.
“This declaration was executed on Nov 18, 2004, at Lahore. If he was not (Tyrian’s) father, in what capacity he submitted the affidavit of no objection in the matter of guardianship,” the petitioner said.
Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2022